As 2015 draws to a close, it's a good time to reflect on “what worked” with mobile advertising this year and to summarize the successful strategies you should be looking at in 2016.

Here are five top tips:

1. Respect the user

Mobile devices are highly personal. Mobile users want to decide where, when and how they interact with brands on their devices. So put the user in control. Mobile ads should be opt-in, so the user decides whether or not to engage with a brand’s message.

Crucially, mobile ads should be easy for users to dismiss, with a prominent 'close' box. Finally, if the ad unit covers some content on the page, design the ad so it disappears when a user scrolls and only reappears when the user stops scrolling. 

2. Use mobile-friendly ad formats

While they can look fine on tablets, desktop ads don’t look good on small smartphone screens. Instead, use mobile-friendly ad formats such as the IAB Rising Star adhesion unit.

Adhesion units look great on any mobile device because they take up about 10% of the screen and are anchored at the bottom in either portrait or landscape mode. They also produce strong results.

3. Target the right audience

Strong results don’t matter if the wrong audience is responding. The best advertising solutions providers have robust behavioural data that can be targeted as well on mobile as on desktop.

Lookalike models can be built to target scalable audience segments most likely to be receptive to a brand’s message and respond favourably to it.

4. Keep users engaged

Once you’ve targeted the right audience with mobile-first ad formats and the audience is responding to your ad, you want to keep them engaged and spending as much time as possible with your brand’s message.

One great way to keep users engaged is to use video as the main act in the creative. Users increasingly watch video on mobile, with a trend for larger screens.

Showing multiple videos is even more effective. Combine video with interactivity – inviting users to explore a brand further via photo galleries, feature demonstrations, product showcases and maps with directions to the nearest store – and you have the perfect recipe for deep user engagement.

Screenshot from a North Face mobile video ad

north face video ad

5. Measure the right things

The last thing you want to do with your highly interactive, video-centric mobile campaigns is track results that don’t truly reflect the positive impact on brand metrics and sales lift. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to use clicks as a key performance indicator since clicks have been shown to have little to no correlation with conversions.

On smartphones, in particular, a significant percentage of clicks are accidental. Instead, more advanced metrics such as engagement rate, interaction rate and time spent are much more indicative of users actively paying attention to a brand’s message and ultimately being influenced by it.

After all, it’s deep user engagement that causes consumers to know, love and buy a brand.

Stick to these five tips and you'll be well set in 2016. Good luck.

Doug Conely

Published 4 December, 2015 by Doug Conely

Doug Conely is Chief Strategy Officer at Exponential and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

8 more posts from this author

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Comments (2)

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Chandan Singh, Head Marketing at Wireless & Digital Marketing

Very good points and have the basic concept in each parameters which can be easily followed as well taken up.

over 2 years ago

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John Lynch, Business Development Director at e3

s

over 2 years ago

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